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First to be found and digitized -
This was recorded during Mance's first visit to Seattle, with Fred McDowell. They both played Nov 15, 1966 at the American Friends Service Committee offices in the U District just west of Roosevelt. We have found a little of Fred's session (see below). This was recorded just 10 days after the Great Carpet Sweep. For more about the Seattle Folklore Society (SFS) and these concerts, click on the tape label thumbnail below. Mance came back to Seattle in 1972 and was interviewed then by Bob West. Click here to go to the interview.
The SFS has a slide show chronicle of their history on their website, where they (John Ullman?) describe the first concert like this: "We arranged to bring Mance Lipscomb and Fred McDowell to Seattle through Chris Strachwitz who recorded them on his Arhoolie label. By 7:30 we had sold out and had 200 people waiting in line. The Friends Center allowed us to open their second hall, and we had the artists do one set in each of the rooms. We ended the evening having made enough money to pay Fred and Mance healthy bonuses and firmly establish the ability of SFS to continue to produce concerts."
Recording courtesy Estate of Bob West, BW0113
Seattle Folklore Society Concert: Big Joe Williams plays the blues in his own driving, personal style. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to Chicago in 1930 and began recording under the name of King Solomon Hill. Since then, he has recorded under his own name on such labels as Folkways and Arhoolie. Produced by Darrel McMichael and Phil Williams.
A note on the tape box label identifies this as SFS concert number 13.
According to the KRAB program guide listing for Bob West's bi-weekly blues program, immediately following this concert Joe Williams and Bob went up to the KRAB studios to record an interview, which can be heard here.
Recording courtesy Estate of Bob West, BW1025
SEATTLE FOLKLORE SOCIETY CONCERT SERIES: MANCE LIPSCOMB AND FRED MCDOWELL spent most of their lives at hard labor, Mance as a sharecropper and Fred at whatever was available until they were discovered (quote unquote). From this point, both spent their time doing what they liked best - playing music. Mance plays and sings the blues, ballads, party songs, and gospel songs while Fred is the leading exponent of country bottleneck blues. Produced by Darrel McMchael and Phil Williams.
I could not find Fred McDowell's portion of the 1966 concert scheduled (in the program guides) prior to 1975. The tape label is not very informative. And, actually it is speculation on my part that this recording may be from his 1966 appearance (in different rooms) with Mance Lipscomb. McDowell returned to Seattle Aug 9, 1969 (Friend's Center), to Tacoma Aug 25, 1970 and Apr 14, 1971 (Court "C" Coffeehouse), to Seattle Aug 10, 1971 (Scandia Ballroom) and Aug 11, 1971 (Friends Center).
Recording courtesy Estate of Bob West, BW1010
This concert was recorded by Phil Andrus and broadcast on his program The Folk Show. You can find it on The Folk Show page (click here).
If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org